Cliffden has a long history, long may it continue…


Knowledge of the early history of Cliffden is purely anecdotal. It is believed at one time it was part of the Devon Estate and it is they who hold the original deeds. There is a letter claiming that a family called Bellairs lived here in the late 18th Century. And that Henry Bellairs fought at the Battle of Trafalgar as a twelve year old Midshipman. The letter also claims that the name Cliffden was always pronounced as if it was two words because it was built over or close to the famous den of smugglers. It would seem more likely however that the name derives from a clearing on the cliff where pigs were kept.

In the latter part of the 19th Century Sir John Straughan, whose monument is to be found in St. Michael’s Churchyard, occupied the house. It has been said that he was of unsound mind and was cared for by two keepers. In 1912 Mr Heber Mardon whose firm in Bristol undertook printing for Willa Tobacco, bought the house. Mr Mardon is reputed to have spent £25,000 laying out new gardens at Cliffden with a system of seven ponds extending up the valley

Drs. Bertha and Annie Mules then purchased the house and in 1954 transferred the ownership to their nephew Dr. Roger Mules. It then stayed with the Mules Family until it was sold to The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in 1988

Guide Dogs for the blind association opened Cliffden in 1990 as a 21 bedroom Hotel and ran until 1999 when Cliffden closed for redevelopment which was completed in 2001.

When the Cliffden reopened in May under the new management of ‘Action for Blind People’ there has been an additional 28 bedrooms added, many with sea-views and a small number with balconies.

Since 2001 when Cliffden reopened under the management of Action for Blind People, the Hotel has become a very popular holiday destination with visitors.

Cliffden is now the largest Hotel in Teignmouth and once again plays a major role within the town.